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Indigenous autonomy, community-based research, and development aid: Sumaq kawsay in three epistemic scenarios

Tirso Gonzalez, Matt Husain


In this paper, the future of Indigenous autonomy and Indigenous community- based research is illustrated by analyzing re- Westernization, de- Westernization, and decoloniality in relation to the regeneration of the Indigenous glocal (global/local) concept of sumaq kawsay (“living well” in Quechua). The regeneration of sumaq kawsay as a new geopolitical and cultural polycentric and multipolar world is examined from an Indigenous studies decolonial perspective and an Indigenous Andean campesino (peasant) community- based perspective. Sumaq kawsay has encouraged an unexpected pan- Latin American perspective that supports decoloniality and its epistemic pluriversity as an alternative scenario to “progress” and the business approach of development aid embedded within re- /de- Westernization.

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